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Thread: Sweeping Frequencies?? Parametric EQ

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    Sweeping Frequencies?? Parametric EQ

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    Hello, I read a lot of articles on parametric eq's where people say use the Q to sweep the frequencies to find where the frequency for a particle sound is. How does one do this please?

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    the "q" if im not mistaken is the range of freaqueny affected by the boost or cut of the eq- a small q affects a wider area than a large q ( that might be backwards- i forget)

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    parameric

    RIGHT, THE Q OR OTHERWISE KNOWN AS BANDWIDTH ARE THE RANGE OF FREQUENCIES BEING EFFECTED. YOU CAN HAVE A NARROW OR WIDE Q. SOME SOFTWARE REPRSENT THIS IN NUMBERS AND IVE SEEN THEM BE ASS BACKWARDS. SO BASICLY THERE IS NO STANDARD YET. BUT YOU CAN HEAR THE DIFFERENCE.

    WHAT PEOPLE REFER TO GENERALLY WHEN THEY SAY THAT, IS SET THE Q ABOUT MIDWAY TO NARROW, TO START. THEN BOOST THE GAIN AT LEAST 3DB, AND SWEEP WITH THE FREQ POT TO FIND THE FREQUENCY YOU WANT TO EFFECT, YOU MAY EVEN WANT TO FIND THE MOST ANNOYING FREQ YOU CAN, NARROW THE Q, AND PULL IT OUT OF THERE ALL TOGETHER.

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    Thanks, I understand about the Q, but what confuses me is the actual act of 'sweeping'. Is it physically turning the frequency knob up and down and if so, what should I actually be listening for?

    People keep turning about the problem frquency, etc, but all I find when I narrow the Q and tweak the Frequency all over the place is that the sound just keeps changing.

    Basically i'm confused about how to 'sweep' and what to be listening for?

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    what sounds good

    yes, sweeping is turning the freq. knob.
    and you listen for what you think sounds good. and that is the hard part. basic things to think about is that you want your mix to fill a frequency spectrum as smoothly as possable, so the freq that dont sound so good in a kick drum like 300-450hz for instance can be pulled out of the mix meanwhile adding that freq to the snare for more body giving both sounds room to breath, and sound good. not that a snare and a kick drum are ever the problem tracks. not so much as the kick drum and the bass.

    there are no boundries, just experiment. have fun NOTHING IS BETTER THAN EXPERIANCE.

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    Aah, it's all very clear now. Basically I turn till I sort the problem out either by boosting or cutting. Thanks.

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    Actually, PTJ, there is a standard for Q - higher numbers mean narrower frequency range, but maybe some manufacturers are ignoring the standard. On a mixing desk the Q pot will do the same thing - turned to the right narrows the band, to the left widens it. Anyway, nice to have another ProTools user on board (sometimes i get lonely!). Usually the only time it gets mentioned on most bulletin boards is when people are complaining how crappy they think it sounds. What type of PT system do you have?

    Shack, one very common technique for corrective EQ is to sweep boosted frequencies with a narrow Q to find where something sounds the worst and then cut at that point and readjust Q to taste.

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    I had not thought of that!

    Originally posted by littledog
    Shack, one very common technique for corrective EQ is to sweep boosted frequencies with a narrow Q to find where something sounds the worst and then cut at that point and readjust Q to taste.
    Littledog,
    when/how often do you find that you perform that technique? What results do you hear overall via that technique ? I regularly sweep using cut frequencies....this is the first time im hearing about this using boosted frequencies....and im finding it interesting. I take it that the frequencies that you eventually cut by this method are harder to pinpoint as being 'problem' area's in the first place, so this identifies them easier? How much do you boost with this technique (i guess anything boosted to high will sound bad) ? What's intriguing me is that one might not have really identified these frequencies as 'problematic' in the first place, so im wondering what the actual effect on a mix will be afterwards. Is the effect kind of like rolling off, to avoid the build-up of less noticible frequencies that cause cummulative problems?

    Thanks,
    T

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    Okay, I'll chime in while we're waiting for Littledog. When I do this boost-a-narrow-Q-and-sweep thing, I usually boost to about 10 dB with a Q of about 12. Then I sweep. If a frequency is really problematic, it'll just jump out at you with an ugly sound. But when I learned how to do this, I got overenthusiastic about it, and started sweeping *all* my tracks and cutting every frequency that sounded less than sweet. See, when you start doing this sweeping thing, you'll find frequencies that sound kinda unusual, although they're not really ugly. Anyway, one day I compared a mix where I'd been sweeping enthusiastically to one where I hadn't swept at all. Guess what... the unswept mix had way more life in it - I'd been sweeping the life out of the other mix.

    Anyway, I've got a theory about sweeping for bad frequencies. It's a useful tool, but it only applies if you've miked something poorly. If you mic it right, there's no need for that surgical EQ work.

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    Since wer're kicking this around..
    When listening to the mix, you'll notice areas on a track that seem out of balance or just inappropriate. Fix that part of the sound in your head, then sweep to make note of the frequencey nearest the center of the problem area, then go back to flat- give your ears time to get back to what 'normal' was. Then start pulling it out. After a while you'll be getting pretty close right off.

    Never tried cutting at one place and then looking for somewhere else to boost that back in. More of a circular process of cutting what's in the way and knudging up where needed.
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